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|NCAA Division I Wrestling Recap: Week 3|
By John Fuller USA Wrestling
While Oklahoma State was the road team, it seemed like Michigan State's wrestlers were the ones hiding in the Trojan horse waiting for a sneak attack.
The Spartans gave the three-time defending national champions all they could handle on Sunday afternoon in the final dual meet of November. Oklahoma State eventually outlasted Michigan State, 21-15, but the Spartans did win half of the matches, including an upset by 157-pound Tony Greathouse over Kevin Ward.
The difference in the dual was simply bonus points. The Cowboys had three technical falls and one major decision, while Michigan State was unable to get any bonus points in its victories.
Fans can read one of two things out of this dual meet - either Michigan State is better than everyone thought, or Oklahoma State is not as powerful as everyone thought. While it is still early in the season, it actually may be a little of both.
A New King?
Sticking with this week's theme of Michigan schools, the Wolverines had a tough battle with Penn State, scraping by in State College, 23-15, while Central Michigan dropped a 19-13 dual to Minnesota at the Northeast Duals.
The Wolverines lost three of the first four matches before battling back to win five of the final six in the victory. Mark Moos, who attempted to transfer in the off-season, did not crack the lineup as Jim Shutich was pinned at 133 lbs., but freshmen Steve Luke (157 lbs.) and Tyrel Todd (184) were impressive.
The Chippewas, on the other hand, were on the short end against Minnesota, a team that is looking more and more like a national title contender. In this dual, four matches were decided by one point, and one other, the 184-pound title between Minnesota's Roger Kish, a Michigan native, and Christian Sinnott, went to overtime.
With three teams that have the potential to be in the top 10 at the end of the season, the state of Michigan could be taking reign as the top state for Division I college wrestling in the country, just in time for the 2007 NCAA Championships in Auburn Hills.
From Hockeytown to Mat Town USA
The annual Mat Town USA tournament took place this weekend at Lock Haven. While the field has dwindled over the past few years, there is still some quality competition at this tournament.
Indiana was expected to dominate, and they did, as defending NCAA champion Joe Dubuque rolled to first place at 125 lbs. Overall, the Hoosiers had four champions and took first place.
The second place team was a surprise, however. Buffalo, which continues to backhand me after the worst program in the country comment from a couple of years ago, also had four champions. Not all of those were uncontested, either, including Dana Gingerich's title at 141 lbs., Kyle Cerminara's dominance at 197 lbs. and Harold Sherrell's crown at heavyweight.
What this shows is that the Mid-American Conference continues to get better, again questioning whether the current system of NCAA Tournament allocations is fair for the smaller schools.
Virginia Tech wrestling fans finally got a good glimpse of the future this weekend at the Sharpie Carolina Open. The Hokies won four titles, three of them by the highly-touted freshmen brought in to revive this program.
Joey Slaton (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) will all redshirt this year, but they were all impressive in winning titles in Chapel Hill.
These three are gaining valuable experience this year, and wresting fans can look for them to step in and dominate on a national level next year.
The freshman you don't know
Every year, there is a freshman that was not considered a blue-chip recruit that sets the college wrestling world on fire.
While it may be too early to tell for sure who that freshman is, 149-pound Gregor Gillespie of Edinboro has stepped to the plate so far. Gillespie has posted a 12-0 record and captured first-place finishes at the Eastern Michigan Open and Missouri Open, two very strong pre-season tournaments.
Gillespie has not squeezed by his opponents either, pinning one opponent, winning five more matches by technical fall and two others by major decision.
Edinboro regularly schedules some of the tougher teams in the country, so Gillespie will have his fair share of tests this year. But don't expect this freshman to falter when the pressure begins building.